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Guru Har Sahai  The History of The Guruharsahai



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Pothimala building at Guruharsahai


This place was a waste tract between the territories occupied by the Barars and Dogars, who were constantly quarrelling over its possession. About two centuries ago, one Jiwan Mal came and pitched his tent upon this waste. He was a Sodhi, 7th in descent from the celebrated Guru Ram Das. He had been driven from his home at Mohammadpur, near Chunian,in the Lahore District (now in Pakistan), by the Kardar who represented Ahmed Shah s Government. No doubt he had made himself obnoxious by showing fanaticism towards the religion. The Dogars Chief, Sultan, gave him protection and encouragement to remain in the place, believing that his presence would in a measure stop the incursions of the Barars and put an end to the disputes between the tribes. The Brars also favored him, knowing him to be a priest of their own religion. He was. Therefore, permitted to establish a number of villages in the plain, and he fixed his boundaries by marking down the tracks of his horse s hooves as he made a long circuit one morning along the boundary of the land he fancied. He named the ilaqa Guru Har Sahai after his eldest son, who eventually took his father s place as the head of the Family.Jiwan Mal appears to have made friends later on with Ahmed Shah, because he was allowed to hold his land free of revenue, and the grant was renewed by Ranjit Singh when the Mohammedans authority disappeared from this part of the Punjab.

The religious influence of the family was very great throughout the region of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and many of the Sodhis of Guru Har Sahai were employed at the court of Lahore and they accompanied the army on expeditions along the frontier, when it was necessary to keep up the enthusiasm of the men at a high pitch. Inn making these journeys, they seized the opportunity of bringing the followers under their own religious banner from among the scattered Hindu family of the western Punjab. And up to the historic Partition of the country in 1947, continued to be revered by a large numbers of the Sikhs, not only in their immediate neighborhood but also in Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Kohat and the Derajat. On the death of Guru Gulab Singh in 1869, only two-thirds of the Jagir was continued to his successor, Fateh Singh on a life-tenure. It was unfortunate that he became involved in quarrels with his own son, and in his time much of the old influence of the family melted away. Ha was. Moreover, on bad terms with Bishan Singh, his eldest son and to despise him, made a gift of his property and Guruship to his younger son, Kabul Singh. A Law-suit followed and that Guru Bishan Singh was successful, but the expenses of litigation seriously crippled the property. On the death of Fateh Singh in 1879, the Jagir was temporarily resumed, and it was re-granted to Guru Bishan Singh in 1885 under a samad from the supreme government.

Both Guru Gulab Singh and Guru Fateh Singh exercised magisterial powers within the limits of their jagirs but these privileges were not continued to Guru Bishan Singh, who in 1896 was declared, at his own request, unfit to manage his estates, which were placed under the court of Wards. The expenses incurred by the Guru in his case against his brother, Kabul Singh amounted to about one lakh of rupees, and these and other debts were later cleared off and many improvements were effected, so that in 1909, the income from the estate was over Rs 50,000 a year. The family then owned nearly 25,000 acres in nine villages in the Muktsar Tahsil. The guru was a Provincial Darbari. He died in 1910 and was succeeded by his elder son, Jaswant Singh. He had given away to his brother Autar Singh half of the property; expect the Abadi land for his lifetime and the two brothers jointly gifted a village to Hira Singh, the son of their sister in perpetuity.

As head of the family, Guru Jaswant Singh continued to be guardian of the sacred book and of the rosary which originally belonged to Guru Nanak Dev. These objects, are  held in high reverence by the people who traveled long distances for the privilege of seeing them. One Pothi was lost in 1970 when Guru Jaswant Singh was traveling from Delhi to Firozpur by train. Guru Jaswant Singh died on 18th March 1971 and  was succeeded by his eldest son Guru Atamjit Singh who died in 1979. He was succeeded by his eldest son Guru Haresh Singh. Guru Haresh Singh abdicated the Gaddi in favor  of his eldest and only son Guru Yuvraj Singh Sodhi, who was born on 25 May 1994. Guru Yuvraj Singh is 17th in direct descendent from Guru Ram Das the 4th Sikh Guru and is the present Gaddi Nashin of Pothimala and head of the Guruharsahai Sodhi family.











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